Tag Archives: advice

How I (FINALLY) passed my driving test

Hi all,

Hope everyone is well!

If you read my last blog post, you will have noticed that I had mentioned the hard work that I have been putting in to pass my driving test. It has been a long road (both literally and figuratively) and I cannot tell you how elated I am to have passed. I think I am actually more proud of it than my university degree since I never thought I would pass.

Indeed, I did not pass first time and this is something very common in the UK as the UK driving test is rated as one of the hardest in the world L So if you don’t pass first time please do not worry as it is very uncommon – yes only 45% of the population pass first time and certain test centres have even lower first-time pass rates.  This is because to pass the driving test you need experience of course but also a lot of LUCK!  And unfortunately not all of us are lucky, like myself, but NEVER give up. I know it may feel like the end of the world but you WILL pass. Keep going to the test centre and ignore the driving examiners- they are mean people who have to stay within the targets of the average passes of their test centres and who will probably make more money by you coming again and again.

Now I will speak about my own experience and hopefully a lot of you will be able to relate or at least be reassured. So my story starts from when I was very young. Yes not actual driving but driving in lego land when I was smaller. It is from that very moment that I hated driving and decided to avoid driving at any costs. I hated the rules of the road as I found them confusing and my seat belt  got stuck at the end of my driving slot.

Unfortunately, I was not able to avoid driving due to pressure from a certain family member and the year before I joined university I finally applied for my provisional licence. However, I did not start driving classes until the end of my first year and had a horrible driving instructor that completely put me off driving. Honestly, he was the worst driving instructor I have ever met – he would make me park up so he could meet his friends, be on the phone during lessons and tell me that ‘some people are natural drivers and others are not’. I stopped after 3 lessons and instead decided to focus on doing my theory test without driving the following year.

After this I went to Paris for a year abroad so my driving lessons were put on hold until I came back. Once I did I found an excellent driving instructor from the AA who taught me everything. His lessons were great and I really grew in confidence, however I was rushed by a family member to take my first driving test due to financial costs, which really blew my confidence. Indeed, when I went to my first test I do not believe I was ready but thought I was give it a shot to not let my family member down but it was honestly the worst test ever. I had a horrible examiner who kept tutting when I was driving when I was clearly very nervous, which is totally normal by the way. It was just horrible and I was not in my normal state of mind since my dog had just passed away two days before the test.

I decided to take it on the chin and redo another test a bit later after a few more lessons but I knew it would be difficult as I would be travelling between my university in Surrey and my home in London during weekends. I have to stay it was hard to balance my university work load and driving lessons but I did it. I thought about changing to an easier driving centre, which my brother had chosen to take his test at but once I tried some lessons there I realised it would be more difficult for me as I did not know the area. Hence, a test there would require double concentration on driving and focusing on the roads.

I then did a couple more tests in my initial chosen test centre until I decided that maybe I should switch test centre as the one I had been trying to pass at had been reputed for a very low pass rate. At this point I had driven for months and I was not so worried about not knowing test routes. I simply wanted to pass. With money running low from paying for driving lessons and tests, I decided to buy my own car. It was a big decision but I cannot recommend it enough! I could drive for as many hours as I wanted and this really made me an experienced driver.

 

Although, I was ready to take the test with my own car by this time, I decided to delay my driving test for a few months due to final year exams, which I did not want to fail. I then did another test in June and I felt physically sick and was convinced that at the end I would be told I hadn’t passed the test due to a few minor mistakes. However, to my surprise and delight I did pass. I was in so much shock and also super happy that I cried. I did 3 minor mistakes but I still managed to pass. This just shows you that you will eventually pass and given that you get the right person who will give you a chance, anything is possible.

To conclude, the driving test is not easy unless you are either naturally gifted OR super lucky. I think the latter is the most important as I do have friends who have passed their tests first time yet are too afraid to drive. Just remember you are not defined by the times that you do your test and actually this shows perseverance. According to a recent survey those who fail their tests are more intelligent than those who pass first time hehe.

Please do share your driving test experiences below and I am happy to answer any questions that you may have.

Lots of love,

Charlotte xoxo

Q&A: Answers!

Hey everyone!

 

Hope you are doing well. Let me just start off with apologising for my absence. Unfortunately I was really ill last month and have also been focusing on my final year exams so as you can imagine it has been hectic.

I am finally going to post the Q&A that some of you participated in. I hope you enjoy it! Here goes:

 

If you could wish for 1 thing, what would it be, and why?

 

To pass my final year of uni with flying colours as I have worked so hard for this and it will determine my future.

 

 

What’s one piece of advice you’d give your 10 year old self?

Just relax and have fun. Life will get more serious later ha-ha . Also, 18 is not an old age as I remember thinking it was!

 

 

 

If you had to pick a different niche for your blog, what would it be?

Maybe a cooking blog where I would post my recipes as I love food so maybe I could share that passion with others.

 

 

 

What was your favourite film of last year?

I love films so it’s hard to say! I think I would say Down by love as it has inspired me to write about it in my dissertation. This is a film about a love story between a prison warden and an inmate. It also reminds me of being in France as that’s where I watched it.

 

What are your perfect bath salts products?

 

I don’t use bath salts myself but I do like bath bombs. Usually I love to get these at lush as they have a super strong scent; however I don’t think they are natural. Alternatively I love to get bubble bath liquids from body shop. My favourite one is the honey bubble bath gel!

 

Lots of love,

Charlotte xoxo

 

Kiss me lip balm review

Hey all,

A few months ago I was still living in Paris and I was going to a store called SEPHORA. Americans will probably know this store but for those from the UK it’s like our equivalent of boots but only for make-up.

During the sale season, I discovered small little eggs called kiss me. They are tinted lip balms that moisturise your lips whilst still giving you a lipstick look and are available in 6 different colours. I have the cotton candy balm and I adore it.

After having used it for several months, I will share with you a quick review:

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Continue reading Kiss me lip balm review

Step by Step Golden Bronze Prom Eyeshadow Tutorial

Dear readers,

Today I will be sharing with you a prom night look that was inspired by my experiments with my urban decay eye palette.

For me, gold is the colour of luxury so when I created a golden make up look using the colour ‘half baked’ I couldn’t resist thinking that this would be perfect for a prom night or a special occasion.

Hope you enjoy the look and don’t hesitate to share your own make up tutorials.

Continue reading Step by Step Golden Bronze Prom Eyeshadow Tutorial

Body shop shimmer waves bronzer review

Hey readers,

As I am sitting in the sweltering heat in Paris I have decided to do a review of a summer product that I love- the shimmer waves bronzer by Body shop. Enjoy 🙂

The look achieved with the bronzer:

shimmery
Colour & Pigmentation:

There are 5 warm and shiny shades in this palette and they’re all very wearable and neutral. I use the lightest shade of coral as I am quite pale but the product is available for darker skin tones as well. It is perfect to give you a tanned look.

Application:

The product is very easy to apply as you only need a few brushes of it to light up your face. However, do be careful as your face may get too shimmery if applied heavily

It also has multi usages. I use it as a bronzer (the intended use), eye shadow, and highlighter and sometimes even for contouring.

The packaging: This product comes in a square transparent plastic box, which box is pretty sturdy. It’s very easy to carry around.

How does it wear:

This products lights up your face making it all shiny but in a good way as it gives you colour. The shimmer is great if you are pretty pale. .The pigmentation is great and particularly useful for the summer when your winter foundation no longer suits your tanned skin tone.

Nevertheless, moderation is the key with this product and you can go wrong if you’re too heavy handed or layer it up. Also, as this product is a powder it is not great when you have dry skin so ensure to moisturise before wearing it.

Would I repurchase?

Yes I love the look it gives me; however I will be looking for something that works a bit better with, those like me, who have dry and sensitive skin.

Lots of love,

Charlotte xoxo

What I Learned By Going Makeup-Free

What I Learned By Going Makeup-Free

Dear readers,

During the summer I have been wearing less and less make up every day. Funnily enough this has been quite a liberating experience even though the media continually tells us that we should be make-uped all the time. I know what you’re thinking: it’s not even possible to feel liberated without any make up as all your flaws are on show. Well, contrary to popular belief, life as you know it will not end if you skip makeup every now and then and opt for a fresh face.

A great artist that is taking this to another level is Alicia Keys who has decided to stop wearing make-up full stop. I love experimenting with my look so I’m not sure if I could go on a make-up ban but big up to her. Here I will share with you 3 things I learned by going make up free. Enjoy!

  1. My skin got clearer and my eyelashes grew longer

Indeed, makeup Isn’t Necessarily Great for Your Skin even though it’s marketed as a product that hides your flaws and you can even get spot healing make up. The truth was after stopping wearing foundation and mascara I noticed changes.

I noticed that my skin became clearer. And without having to remove mascara everyday my eyelashes had the time to grow a bit (or at least seem like it) so that I would have longer lashes after putting mascara on after a makeup ban.

 

2. I saved SO MUCH money…

I am not saying that I buy Chanel make up or anything but even using affordable makeup products from brands like Maybelline add up if you use it every day.  And if you’re a student you know the struggle for cash. With the money saved up I treated myself to a restaurant outing with friends etc.

3. I was able to relax as I saved so much TIME

Everyone knows the rush of doing their makeup before work/school/ a date. Indeed, Putting on makeup can take anywhere from 10 minutes to upwards of an hour depending on how you feel about yourself that day. Whilst going bare, I was able to sleep in so much longer and there is the expression ‘beauty sleep’ for a reason right?

 

To conclude, I’m not saying don’t wear makeup every again, but just think of it as you’ll be doing your skin a good service if you choose a fresh face opposed to heavy makeup on a regular basis.  It’s important to have a balance of make-up and non-make up days.

Lots of love,

Charlotte xoxo

no make up

 

 

Date night: The Great Gatsby Eyes

 

Dear readers,

Today I will be sharing with you a date night look that was inspired by the Great Gatsby. If you haven’t yet seen the film I definitely recommend that you do because it is absolutely stunning and an absolute tear jerker! Hope you enjoy the look and don’t hesitate to share your own make up tutorials.

So from the girls in the film I saw that the make-up of the 20’s was super-smoky! This was because ‘King Tutankhamun’s tomb was discovered in the early ’20s and the world went crazy for everything Egyptian, including Cleopatra’s famed kohl eyes.’ (< http://thebeautygypsy.com/great-gatsby-makeup/>).

To recreate the ’20s sooty effect, I am using the urban decay naked palette. Here are the easy to follow steps:

1.Apply the colour ‘buck’ to your crease


2.Apply colour ‘naked’ just above the crease for a smooth transition


3.Apply the colour ‘creep’ to the outer v and crease


4.Apply the colour ‘gunmetal’ to the lid


5.Then blend, add mascara and eyeliner


Final look:


So there you have it. Until next time…

Charlotte xoxo

Packing checklist

 

Hey readers,

I hope you’re having a fabulous summer so far. I myself have been enjoying the varying sunniness of the British weather.

I’ve been a bit quiet lately because I am preparing for my first ever holiday without my parents. With this comes the freedom but also a lot of responsibility as I have to ensure that I bring everything I need. In order to ensure I do this, I have created a packing list for myself but I am sure that it may be useful for some of you so I’ve decided to share it here. Enjoy!

Official documents

Passport

Visas

Boarding passes

Holiday booking details

Monies

Clothes

Sandals

Platforms/high heels

Walking shoes

Underwear/bras

Nightie

Dresses

Shorts & tops

Bikini

Toiletries/Hygiene

Period pads/tampons

Contact lenses & solution

Deodorant

Make-up & remover

Floss

Lip Balm

Body lotion

Toothbrush & paste

 

First aid/ health

Plasters

Neurofen

Birth control

Travel pillow

 

Sun care

Sunglasses

Sunscreen

Sunhat

 

Entertainment

Game

Books

Headphones and iPod

Snacks

So there you have it, hope it helps. Where are you going on holiday?

 

Lots of love,

Charlotte xoxo

DSC_1928

Pony tail look

Sometimes I’m just not in the mood to spend a lot of time on my hair.  But at the same time, I don’t want to do the same look all the time with my hair down.

 

So today I tried a pony tail because frankly I only ever wear my hair down. I decided to keep my side fridge out so it was kinda harder to do. But I just put a clip of my fridge part to separate it from the rest of my hair and then tied it up.

 

I think it looks ok and is really nice when you are trying to work as there is no hair in your face . ( see picture below).

pony tail number 1

I think it can help reduce wrinkles because as you tie your hair up really tightly, you pull your face skin back. However, I would not recommend you to wear your hair like this in freezing conditions ( as I did).

Another way of doing it is to try your whole hair back into a pony tail- this is great for all those who don’t have a side fringe and just want to get their hair out of the way. I particularly like to do this when I do cardio or a zumba class as it holds up my hair pretty well as you can see below.

pony tail number 2

 

Funnily enough this hairstyle helped me realise how your hair keeps your neck and ears warm!

Do you like wearing ponytails? Xoxo

Bravissimo lingerie store (Covent garden, London) experience

 

Hey readers,

Hope all is going well for you.

So last week I decided that I needed to get a new sports bra for my gym and home workouts and I stumbled upon bravissimo. For those who don’t know about this shop, it is one that provides lingerie, swimwear & nightwear brands exclusively for D Cup and above.

It was my first ever time in Bravissimo because I find it so hard to find bras for my size (small waist but big breasts) so I don’t expect you to know this shop but I thought I would review my experience to give you an idea if it’s the lingerie shop for you.

 

Service: 6/10

Walking in me was met by the bright smiley faces of staff. However, I was not once asked if I needed any help, which I found rather strange. Due to this lack of help, I was rather confused when there were only like 5 different sizes for the sports bras and not one was my size but I then went to ask a member of staff if they had bras in my size and she told me I had to bring the bra I wanted down to the changing room and staff would check if they have it in stock.

After this I felt much more relieved as I had confidence that I would find a bra in my size. The lady at the changing room got me my bra in my size and handed it back to me. Interestingly she did not offer to measure me but I didn’t mind and I was able to get in the changing rooms immediately, which are absolutely beautiful. They fitted with a large mirror, silk dressing gown, and numerous hooks! What I particularly loved was that in the dressing rooms was that there were tips and advice on how to tell you had the right bra on you.

Sizes available and quality of bras: 8/10

Many sizes are available as the staff have easy access of the stock room, which is right next to the changing rooms, so you are able to get a wide range of bras in your size. As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog the sizes start from a D cup and they do provide back measurements of 20 etc., which are rather rare in other retail lingerie stores.

I tried on a couple of sports bras and they fitted me nicely but I didn’t think they were that amazing, especially when I considered the high price tag!

Price: 4/10

Rather expensive! All the sports bras that I tried on were at least 40 pounds, which is rather a lot of money. I wasn’t sure if the bras were really worth this so I left the store and found a much more affordable sports bra in M and S, which was about the same quality and half the price!

Overall experience: 6/10

It was interesting to visit this shop for girls like me who sometimes have a hard time finding a bra in a size. However, I was not blown away by the products or service so I’m not sure I would recommend it to anyone else.

Much love,

Charlotte xoxo